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Biology at Advanced Level develops many of the topics you have already studied at GCSE and introduces you to some new and exciting areas of biology. The course follows the OCR context-led approach which allows you to study important areas of biology within recognisable contexts. You will study, for example, the influence that genes have on our development, human health, the mammalian systems and the impact of future human population increases. Biology is a practical subject so you will develop many experimental and mathematical skills. It is hoped that this course will help you gain some understanding of the dynamic and exciting nature of biology and an awareness of the ethical aspects of the subject.

The course is structured into five themes. These are: Development of practical skills in biology, Cells, chemical for life, gas exchange and transport, Cell division, development and disease control, Energy, reproduction and populations, and Genetics, control and homeostasis.

Exam board: OCR2195 Twynham 240

Essential Entry Requirements: You should have studied at least Combined Science at higher GCSE level, achieving two grade 6s or above. If you have studied single science, you need a grade 6 or above in GCSE Biology. You also need a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics.

Desirable Entry Requirements: Two grade 7s in GCSE Combined Science or grade 7 in GCSE Biology.

Additional Costs: Penny, J. (2013) Maths Skills for A Level Biology, Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.  £11

There may also be opportunities for field trips during the two year course which will incur an additional cost.

Pre-Course Material: Biology


Paper 1: Fundamentals of biology (H422/01) – 2hrs 15 – 41% - This covers content from themes 1-5.
Paper 2: Scientific literacy in biology (H422/02) – 2hrs 15 – 37% - This covers content from themes 1-5.
Paper 3: Practical skills in biology (H422/03) – 1hr 30 – 22% - This covers content from themes 1-5.

Practical Endorsement (H422/04). Students complete a minimum of 12 key practicals over the two year course and are awarded a pass/fail grade alongside their A Level result.